Ron Capps drove his Rahn Tobler-tuned NAPA Battery Funny Car to the top of the heap in the first qualifying session of the NHRA New England Nationals. He ran a 4.039-second pass at 313.07-mph to stay ahead of Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. by three-hundredths of a second.
Capps is chasing his second No. 1 qualifier of the season after grabbing pole at the last stop on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour, the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk. He lost in the second round to Johnson and dropped to fifth in the Funny Car standings. He has slid two spots from his peak (third) after climbing from ninth in a matter of two races.
The 2016 Funny Car world champion remains one of the biggest threats to capture the Wally in Epping thanks to the tuning prowess of Tobler. He ranks fifth in NHRA Power Ranking (59.03), sixth in elapsed time average (4.01) and, perhaps most importantly, second in Success Rate. Success Rate measures consistency, something the NAPA Battery Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat has in spades.
The Success Rate of the Hellcat is rated at 77 percent, behind only John Force, and makes Capps a tremendous threat on race day. He managed to get down a 136-degree track, something only half of the 15-car field did, setting him up for more success when cars return to action.
Capps has two wins in his pocket in 2019 (Atlanta, Richmond) and both came in very hot conditions. It’s unfair to damn the NAPA Battery team with faint praise, though. This team can win just as well in cool conditions as it can when it’s hot outside; but its spectacular consistency makes it well-positioned to adapt when the mercury rises. It figures to cool down on Saturday and Sunday, but not so much that this specific advantage will dissipate.
Watch out for Capps in the coming days – and any time the Sun spends a lot of time turning the track into a barbecue grill.